|47805, resplendent in BR two-tone green hauls the special charter through Surbiton at speed on the South West Mainline.|
Locomotive Services Limited made a welcome addition to the charter market during 2018 providing the first alternative to the market which has been dominated by DB Cargo (formerly DB Schenker and EWS) and West Coast Railways. The new company headed by Jeremy Hoskin owns a number of steam locomotives as well as several heritage diesels which are based at their operating centre in Crewe. Initially a limited program of trains is being run under the 'Saphos' brand while the operator becomes established.
A fourth steam operator will also soon enter the fray with Vintage Trains Limited in advance stages of putting together it's business which will be run as a co-operative 'Community Benefit Scheme'.
Each of these companies should bring much needed competition and variety to charter operations.